Cover for CHASE: America's Music: From the Pilgrims to the Present

America's Music

From the Pilgrims to the Present
Awards and Recognition:

Winner of a Special Commendation from the Sonneck Society, 1989. (Cf. Society for American Music)

Gilbert Chase/s monumental work remains the definitive account of music in America. First published in 1955 and subsequently translated into French, German and Spanish, America's Music has long been regarded as a classic. This updated third edition is completely rewritten. Here Chase broadens his scope to devote greater attention to jazz, folk music, and popular music, among other topics. Also included are illustrations of many of the musicians and subjects discussed.

Chase, considered the leading authority on American music, describes this work as encompassing the music made or continuously used by the people of the United States. The musical tour begins with the various religious movements that dominated our musical expression for over two centuries. Our own century has seen rapid development of "serious" instrumental music and the birth of ragtime and jazz. Jazz, according to Chase, is our most original and far-reaching contribution to popular music, with both black and white performers influencing its style. Students of American music as well as anyone interested in its history will find this volume indispensable.

"Still leads the field, with unmatched scholarship, polished language, and grand conception. . . . A remarkable book."--American Music

"A powerful summary of Chase's life's work. He remains an original and persuasive historian, whose mastery of contextual analysis is admirable."--Ethnomusicology

"A landmark in American musical historiography. . . . Indispensable for music teachers and scholars; moreover, it is accessible to the layman. . . . An exhaustive bibliography, excellent discography, and rarely seen illustrations and photographs add to its attractiveness."--Black Perspectives in Music

Gilbert Chase, renowned writer, editor, lecturer, and translator, has taught at Tulane University and the University of Texas, Austin. Former chairman of the Inter-American Music Council, he is now retired and lives in North Carolina. His publications include over two hundred articles. He is also the editor of The American Composer Speaks: A Historical Anthology, 1770-1965 and author of Contemporary Art in Latin America, A Guide to the Music of Latin America, and The Music of Spain, among other books.

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